The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Something To Chew On: What’s the Best Gum Brand?

The crinkle of a gum wrapper in a quiet Menlo classroom turns more heads than the latest gossip. The minute a shiny pack of gum makes its debut from someone’s bag, classmates swarm with outstretched hands and the same burning desire — “Can I have a piece?” Gum is so much more than simply a boredom buster. It offers a symphony of flavors from fresh mint to tangy fruit along with textures that are a sensory delight. An added plus: it’s a solution to bad breath from the garlicky pho you ate for lunch. However, not all gum is created equal; with every brand boasting a unique profile in flavor endurance, texture, packaging and ingredient quality, the choices can be overwhelming. Stick with me as I use these factors to find the gum brands worth the space in your backpack, as well as those that are better left gathering dust on the Walgreens shelf.


Trident ★★★★☆

Trident’s tangy “Tropical Twist” gum was the flavor of my childhood, containing a taste that can transport me back to those halcyon days with just one chew. However, when I put my nostalgia aside, I realized that the brand doesn’t quite hit the mark for me. Though it’s quite famous in the gum world, I can’t help but feel that Trident is somewhat overrated. 

The brand’s extensive flavor portfolio does offer refreshing tastes, and it seems to me that they stay fervent even after a long time spent chewing. However, Trident leans on a whole host of sugar substitutes and artificial flavors — maybe you like the sweetness such ingredients give the gum, but more health-conscious gum aficionados may want to avoid the brand. 

Trident packs are wrapped in excessive plastic, which doesn’t quite align with today’s growing environmental awareness. However, there’s a certain charm to the sleek design of the packaging, with its slim profile and bold colors. Trident gum is recognizable, and the ease it takes to open a pack offers a satisfying, albeit small, convenience. 

I do also have to give Trident props for its texture. Trident has found the sweet spot; their gum is firm, yet yielding enough to make chewing easy on the mouth. This perfect balance is consistent throughout the brand, no matter which flavor you choose. Overall, I’d say that Trident gum is a reliable option for when you need a familiar flavor pick-me-up, but I’m not sure it’d be the first brand I reach for on the grocery store shelf.


Hubba Bubba ★★☆☆☆

Maya Stone

I’m sure many of us, students and faculty alike, receive a blast from the past when we think of the bright pink, in-your-face Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape that ruled the elementary schools when we were younger. Hubba Bubba is all about the fun vibe — the packaging pops just as much as the bubble gum inside of it. Hubba Bubba is perfect for those who are still a child at heart, but I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone.

Sure, the packaging makes it easy to whip out any amount of gum for those moments when you just need a piece, stat. However, it’s not winning any eco-friendly awards with all that plastic. If you’re trying to keep things clean, the ingredients may be another reason why Hubba Bubba is not for you; Hubba Bubba gum is ripe with sugar and corn syrup, plus a surplus of artificial colors and flavors. I found it to be comparable to a sugar rush in a tape roll.

Still, you can’t claim that Hubba Bubba is pretending to be something it’s not. It’s advertised as a classic bubble-gum flavor and texture that’s perfect for when you’re in the mood to kick it old-school, and the gum is just that. I have to say, the flavor sticks around longer than any of the other brands I tried out, and because it’s bubble gum, it’s quite easy on the jaw. So while it’s definitely not the poster child for clean living, Hubba Bubba is a classic for a reason.


Simply ★★★★☆

Simply’s gum is perhaps the polar opposite of Hubba Bubba —  clean, modern and subtle in every way. The gum is stirring up conversation in the world of chewing gum, and it’s pretty clear to me why. Flavors are drawn straight from nature’s own pantry, incorporating real fruits and authentic spices — Simply’s earthy notes are stripped of any ingredients you won’t be able to pronounce, and are also vegan, kosher and non-GMO. I will say, the flavor may seem a tad odd or underwhelming to those who are accustomed to the traditional chewing gum, but I found that once I got over that initial shock, I fell in love with the taste’s simplicity.

Simply’s gum is gentle on the teeth and pleasant in the mouth, yet never too malleable to the point that it disintegrates in the mouth. Its flaccidity offers a welcome reprieve for those who wish to avoid the sometimes rigorous workout provided by conventional gum. Additionally, the packaging deserves a nod for its green credentials; the brand has opted for recyclable uncoated paper rather than the usual plastic of other brands. 

The only factor preventing Simply from earning a shiny 5 stars is the longevity of flavor. For $3-$4 a pack, depending on the flavor, one piece should last more than 15 minutes. However, I suppose that’s the tradeoff for ingredient purity due to the lack of synthetic preservatives or flavor enhancers, so I personally don’t mind double-dipping into the pack more often than I would with other gums.

The bottom line is, Simply is perfect for those who enjoy natural ingredients and want to treat Mother Earth right. If you’re looking for a gum that packs a long-lasting flavor punch, however, this brand might take some getting used to. Nevertheless, I implore you to adjust your expectations and give Simply a try.


Juicy Fruit ★☆☆☆☆

Maya Stone

Juicy Fruit’s ubiquitous yellow packaging has cemented its status as one of the most iconic gum brands on the market since 1893, but is it for the best? Though its fruity flavors have captured the hearts and taste buds of many gum enthusiasts, Juicy Fruit simply doesn’t do it for me. 

The brand’s signature offering is the lush blend of tropical flavors; encased within each stick is a burst of strawberry, citrus, pineapple or its classic banana flavor. The taste is whimsical and summery, but it’s just too much for me. The powerful sweetness hits you right away due to the cocktail of artificial flavors and colors, yet the taste fizzles within a matter of minutes. After rebranding, many Juicy Fruit packs now read “Now Longer Lasting,” yet I found no difference in flavor longevity between those
packs and the originals. 

The texture of Juicy Fruit gum, similar to Simply, is quite soft, but I felt that it didn’t play in the gum’s favor. Such a strong flavor made me yearn for a firmer bite, and I found Juicy Fruit’s tender composition to be a touch too adhesive. Also, the combination of the fluorescent reds and yellows of the plastic-shrouded packaging did not impress me aesthetically.

In essence, Juicy Fruit’s rhapsodic flavor could be a useful option for when you need a quick, sweet pick-me-up, as its joyful essence remains undeniable. However, largely due to the brevity of flavor, I don’t recommend you choose Juicy Fruit above all
other brands. 


Extra ★★★★★

Maya Stone

Extra’s gum always has been and always will be my go-to. The name is practically synonymous with cleanliness and clarity; Extra gum is nothing less than a titan in the realm of chewing gum. Each stick offers a surge of freshness and a sensory explosion for the palate. Extra’s mint flavors are crisp and exhilarating, chilling both the breath and the senses. The fruity ones, conversely, enliven the senses with sunny zest; Extra provides a spectrum of options to satisfy any craving. My personal recommendations have to be “Polar Ice” for the mint appreciators or “Pink Lemonade” for those who want something a bit sweeter. 

The flavor, besides being delicious, is potent and enduring. It doesn’t just hint at freshness, but it boldly delivers it with a taste that will linger for quite a while, allowing for a robust chewing experience. I will say, it seems to me that mintier flavors last longer than fruity flavors for this brand, but all flavors offer a lasting taste that distinguishes Extra from its competitors.

Extra’s commitment to quality is further demonstrated by the texture of the gum. Similar to Trident, Extra gum strikes a delightful balance — neither too rugged nor overly yielding — creating an optimal chewing texture both smooth on the mouth and pleasantly pliable. The ingredients, too, blend the best of both worlds. Though there are artificial components, they are minimal and contribute to the prolonged flavor of the gum. Sugar substitutes like sorbitol and xylitol are used thoughtfully, catering to those mindful of their dental health. 

In terms of packaging, Extra’s design is convenient and pragmatic. The packs have proven to be durable, as they’ve been crushed by the contents of my backpack many times and have come out unscathed. The gum is also easy to access, so a fresh burst of flavor is always within reach. Though the outside is wrapped in plastic, it is minimal and the rest of the packaging is comprised of paperboard and aluminum foil. The brand also commits itself to environmentalism in other ways, such as by advocating for human rights in the Thai fish supply chain. To reiterate, Extra’s gum should be your top choice. It’s a beacon of freshness and a paragon of lasting flavor, making every chew an experience to savor.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Alyssa McAdams
Alyssa McAdams, Print Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: Layout days, because we get to listen to music and eat snacks and talk while we work together on print

Interests outside of school: Soccer, flag football, piano, and spending time with my dog

Class of 2025

Comments (0)

The Coat of Arms encourages dialogue with our audience. We welcome constructive comments that avoid slander, hate, profanity and misinformation. In an effort to give voice to a variety of perspectives, anonymous comments will be considered, but signed comments are preferred. If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, please write "Anonymous" in the "Name" field below. While a valid email address is required, The Coat of Arms will not publish your email address. The Editorial Board will review comments and decide whether they will be put online; the editors reserve the right to edit for concision.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *